Twitter rival Threads soars as Zuckerberg hits Musk where it hurts

Threads, Meta's "friendly" alternative to Twitter, reportedly had over ten million sign-ups in its first seven hours.

Kurt Robson July 06 2023

Over ten million users signed up for Meta’s long-awaited Twitter rival Threads in the first seven hours of its launch – as the rivalry between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk intensifies.

Zuckerberg’s newly launched Threads has been framed as a “friendly” rival to Musk’s Twitter and looks extremely similar. 

The Facebook founder described his new app as “an open and friendly public space for conversation.”

“I think the world needs this kind of friendly community, and I’m grateful to all of you who are part of Threads from day one,” Zuckerberg wrote on Instagram following its launch on Thursday (6 June). 

Zuckerberg and Musk, whose companies would arguably benefit from the other’s downfall, have been taking jibes at each other for months now.

In response to the Threads launch, Musk tweeted: “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.”

The tweet is a response to Musk claiming that Threads would lead to putting the world “exclusively under Zuck’s thumb with no other options.”

Answering questions on his new app, Zuckerberg was asked if he felt Threads would be bigger than Twitter. 

He replied: “It’ll take some time, but I think there should be a public conversations app with 1 billion+ people on it.

“Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it. Hopefully we will.”

Chelsea Hopkins, social media manager at internet service provider Fasthosts, believes that Threads “couldn’t have launched at a better time for Meta”.

“Ever since Musk’s Twitter takeover, people have been looking for alternatives to the platform even more so since the ‘rate-limit exceeded’ fiasco just a few days ago,” Hopkins told Verdict.

The successful launch comes after Zuckerberg and Musk publicly agreed to a physical cage match fight.

The two billionaires agreed to trade blows after Musk said in a Twitter post that he was “up for a cage fight” with Zuckerberg. 

Whether or not this bizarre, albeit entertaining, fight actually happens, the fierce battle between the two billionaires’ social media platforms looks set to continue.